William 'Bill' Downing


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Posted Online: Feb. 05, 2013, 6:19 pm
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William R. "Bill" Downing, formerly of Rock Island, died on Feb. 2, 2013.
Bill was born on Aug. 26, 1925, in Rock Island, one of six sons of Harry and Mary Downing. He graduated from Rock Island High School in 1942.
He began working at the family business, Downing Brothers Dairy (later known as Downing's All-Star Dairy), in 1938, at the age of 13, and after serving in the United States Navy during World War II, he returned in 1946 to work at the dairy. That year, he met the love of his life, Rita L. Shaughnessy. They were married in Chicago on Oct. 19, 1946, and this past October celebrated their 66th anniversary.
They had two sons, Michael W. Downing (Pamela L.), White Bear Lake, Minn., and Dennis J. Downing (Dianna), Monterey, Mass; and four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
After a 40-year career as plant manager at Downing All-Star Dairy, he worked for another 10 years at the Rock Island Arsenal as procurement officer. He retired from the U.S. Army in January 1988 and he and Rita moved to Pine Island Cove on Pine Island, Fla. in 1990. He greatly enjoyed his friendships at Pine Island Cove and especially enjoyed playing baseball, bocce and bowling with the guys. He was a Cubs fan and a member of the Pine Island Elks, Pine Island Moose and Pine Island American Legion.
A great man, a great father and a great role model, he will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.












 



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  Today is Thursday, April 24, the 114th day of 2014. There are 251 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: We learn that it is a contemplation to start a paper mill in Rock Island during the summer by a gentleman from the East.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The gates of Oklahoma were swung open at noon today, and a throng of more than 30,000 settlers started over its soil.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Iowa Coliseum Co. was incorporated with $40,000 capital and planned a building on 4th Street between Warren and Green streets in Davenport.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans are being discussed for resurfacing the streets in the entire downtown district of Rock Island.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Some 45 jobs will be created at J.I. Case Co.'s Rock Island plant in a expansion of operations announced yesterday afternoon at the firm's headquarters in Racine, Wis.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Gardeners and farmers cheered, but not all Quad-Citians found joy Saturday as more than an inch of rain fell on the area. Motorists faced dangerous, rain-slick roads as the water activated grease and grime that had built up during dry weather.








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